Sunday evening the United States Olympic Committee released its list of nominees for three post-Olympics awards: American Female Athlete of the Olympics, American Male Athlete of the Olympics and American Team of the Olympics. There are five nominees for each category, with voting being open to fans. Among the nominees are for Athlete of the Olympics are gymnast Simone Biles and swimmers Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps. As for the teams, all five are women’s teams including basketball and gymnastics.
Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.
Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.
The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.
Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.
He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)
Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.
He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.
Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.
Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Now, he’s a big leaguer.
“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”
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Eddy Alvarez, upon hearing news of his promotion to Marlins, drove from Jupiter to Miami so he could tell his family in person. Didn't go in the house. Yelled it to them through the front door.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) August 2, 2020
Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.
Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.
The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.
Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.
“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.
“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”
“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.
“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.
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— Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) August 3, 2020